New estimates from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) show a further downward revision in the forecast for the number of City jobs.
Financial service firms in London have been trimming job levels since the great recession of 2008-09, but with pressure in the sector remaining, deeper cuts into the muscle will be made.
Cebr estimate that the average number of City jobs is likely to be down to 237,000 in 2013 and 236,000 in 2014 - down from 354,000 in 2007. This will be its lowest level since 1993.
The new forecast is a downward revision from the prediction of 256,000 jobs in 2013 made 6 months ago.
Figure 1 - No of City type jobs in London
The falls reflect a collapse in many areas of City activity in mid 2012. Equity trading is down 20% in value year on year; international orders for equity trading down over 50% which reverses last year’s boom; gilts trading is down by a third, partly reflecting the increasing proportion locked up by the Bank of England; currency trading is down 5% this year – the first fall since 2009; UK M&A activity has fallen by about a third during this year and international M&A has fallen even more. Even the formerly dominant derivatives sector is also down by around a fifth so far this year.
The only high points are that private equity and technology M&A seems to be holding steady.
Cebr have used their forecasting models to investigate whether activity in these sectors is likely to grow but the models indicate at best stabilisation during 2013/14 and a gentle rise thereafter.
Cebr Chief Executive Douglas McWilliams said: The fall in activity is partly a function of the weak economy, partly a hangover effect from the financial crisis and partly caused by increasing regulation which limits access to bank cash to bankroll financial transactions. The business model for many firms in the City – which was based on taking a percentage from yields of 8% plus – has to change in a world where low yields are likely for many years to come'.
Table 2 - No of City type jobs in London
2000 - 323,018
2001 - 312,232
2002 - 307,678
2003 - 317,102
2004 - 324,830
2005 - 326,868
2006 - 342,968
2007 - 354,134
2008 - 323,714
2009 - 305,375
2010 - 315,000
2011 - 280,350
2012 - 249,512
2013 - 237,036
2014 - 236,494
2015 - 237,134
2016 - 238,681
2017 - 240,605
image: © John Mitchell